Wednesday, May 29, 2024

GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo Continues Domestic Air Cargo Volumes Recovery In 2021

By Staff Correspondent

Shaking off the pandemic related disruptions, GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo (GHAC), a division of GMR Air Cargo and Aerospace Engineering Limited, continued to improve domestic cargo traffic during the year 2021.

With the onset of the pandemic, airports across the country saw their traffic numbers take a hit, and Hyderabad Airport was no exception. During early 2021, a nascent recovery from the lows of 2020 was cut short by the Second Wave of the pandemic that struck India during April-May 2021, significantly impacting flight connectivity and economic activity.

In particular, the pandemic disrupted international flight connectivity and supply chains through restrictions and limitations on the movement of flights, people, and goods. Despite these challenges, Hyderabad Airport has rebuilt its flight network and cargo connectivity and emerged as a preferred hub for domestic air connectivity for the South-Central India region.

Underlining the rising importance of Hyderabad Airport as the hub of choice for both passengers and cargo, the domestic connectivity at Hyderabad Airport expanded to over 65 domestic destinations by the end of 2021, as opposed to 55 before the COVID outbreak in early 2020.

The growth at Hyderabad Air Cargo was strong and broad-based, registering a year-on-year gain of 22% over the volumes handled during 2020. The airport, which was ranked as the 6th largest cargo hub in India for 2019, has moved up to 5th place on the back of the recent growth momentum. 

The growth in the domestic sector was robust at 35%, as Hyderabad Airport had conducive factors such as strategic geographic location, improved domestic air network, customers’ preference for air cargo over other modes of transport and increasing popularity of e-commerce, among others. 

Hyderabad Airport achieved 2021 domestic air cargo volumes that exceeded the levels seen before the pandemic in 2019 and became the country’s best performing PPP metro airport in 2021.

In 2022, Hyderabad Airport is set to continue the trend, given the critical role now being played by the city and the airport in the all-important e-commerce supply chains in the country. It is to be noted that Hyderabad has emerged as a major hub for e-commerce distribution and supply chain activities, with Hyderabad Airport’s Aerocity being host to the country’s largest e-commerce fulfilment centre that serves a massive catchment area across South-Central India.

On the international front, leveraging upon the unique world-class infrastructure, particularly the ability to handle temperature-sensitive and critical shipments, GHAC has dealt with the most significant volume of COVID vaccine shipments in the country during the year. During 2021, GHAC also registered strong volume growth in perishables, including marine cargo. Today, GHAC is the cargo terminal with the highest proportion of high-yield, temperature-sensitive cargo in the country, building upon its long-established dominance in this space.

In line with the anticipated rise in demand, GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo (GHAC) is stepping up its investments to cater to higher cargo volumes and new market segments.

  • During 2022, the GMR-owned Cargo Terminal operator plans to venture into International Express cargo handling with the launch of a dedicated International Courier Terminal (ICT)
  • Building on its well-established credentials as the preferred hub for pharma exports in South Central India, GHAC is investing in expanding and upgrading its temperature-controlled cargo handling facilities. Recently, GHAC has completed the conversion of its entire export processing zone into a temperature-controlled area, becoming the only cargo terminal in the country today with such an offering.
  • GHAC will also shortly launch a one-of-its-kind ‘Cool Container Yard’ facility, which is set to be South Asia’s largest on-airport base for temperature-controlled air cargo containers, giving the local pharmaceutical manufacturers, forwarders and airlines easy access to these container units that are preferred solutions for the transport of high-value lifesaving medications globally
  • GHAC also plans to launch a larger terminal expansion programme to scale up its infrastructure, technology, and service offerings to meet the expected demand over the next decade, with additions to capacity across both domestic as well as international cargo terminals at Hyderabad Airport

With the operationalisation of the above highlighted strategic air cargo infrastructure, GHAC is set to emerge as the largest air cargo hub for South and Central India.

Mr. Pradeep Panicker, CEO-GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL), commented, “Even through a very difficult operating environment, Hyderabad Air Cargo terminal has registered a positive growth momentum which underscores Hyderabad’s & Telangana’s rising importance as a cargo and aviation hub. With the expected return to normalcy in international air connectivity during 2022, we are very bullish about the future prospects, and we will be making major investments into expansion and upgrade of our cargo terminal facilities to support the region’s growth trajectory.”

GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo (GHAC) is a WHO-GDP (World Health Organisation- Good and Distribution Practices) Certified major Gateway Location in India. It is uniquely positioned to handle Temperature Sensitive Cargo and ensure seamless distribution worldwide. GHAC is expanding its facilities and streamlining processes on landside and airside to meet the unique requirements for perishables, Agri products and various temp-controlled pharmaceuticals. It has already launched a large, custom-built Cool Dolly, a Mobile Refrigerated Unit for airside transportation till Aircraft maintains the Cold-Chain, which is scalable. The major Export and Import commodities handled here consist of perishables (agro & marine products), pharmaceuticals, engineering & aerospace, garments, and electronics.


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